Hiss! Happy Imbolc!

Imbolc is upon us, and for many people, this is the time when they honor the goddess Brigid, who is a harbinger of spring.  Like most deities there are several different animals associated with her.  Cows, sheep, pigs, and roosters are often connected to her in myths.

A different kind of kine.

Snakes are also often associated with her.

It’s thought that the original “groundhog” was definitely not a groundhog at all because they don’t live in Europe, but that the animal eagerly anticipated every year was probably a snake.  Some of you at this point may be thinking, “Snakes and Ireland don’t mix.  That’s an oxymoron.”  Don’t think too hard about it or you’ll miss the point.  The point is that snakes, a symbol of fertility and sexuality, start emerging shortly after Imbolc in some places and represented the promise of the season.

And the snakes Patrick drove out of Ireland?  Those were Pagans, not reptiles.

Last Imbolc, I suggested tons of interesting ways to celebrate.  http://barbedpentacle.com/2012/01/candlemas-light-my-ass-up-baby-and-eat-whipped-cream-from-my-pussy/

This is still my favorite option from last year.

This year for Imbolc I’m going to be making a rubber snake scourge.  If you want to incorporate live snakes into your ritual, that’s cool, but rubber snakes from the dollar store are all you’re going to need for this project.

From other posts, you may remember something called “swish factor,” which is the difference between swish and sting or thud in a S&M toy.  If you want to make an implement that has a lot of swish and sting (a 10), then purchase very rubbery and slinky snakes.  If you like more of a thud, buy snakes that have more plastic in them and that are slightly more rigid.  Likewise, if you want more sting, have the snakes’ tails be at the end of the scourge falls and bind up the snake heads for a handle.  If you want more of a thud, then the snake heads will be making contact with flesh.  My snake scourge is going to be low tech and cheap; so for my handle, I am going to wrap a number of rubber bands around the rubber snakes just below the head (because I’m in the mood for some swish).  If you want, you can also use duct tape for the handle.  It’s slightly textured and comes in lots of funky colors now.  Of course, if you want to be fancy and make something like a cord-wrapped handle, go for it.  When choosing your snakes, also keep in mind length.  If you’re going to be working in a tight space, buy shorter snakes.  If you have plenty of room, buy longer ones.  If you’re looking to color coordinate, Brigid’s colors are typically white, red, and black, but other colors for other magics can be incorporated.  Scourges are usually used for fertility blessings or cleansings, so keep that in mind when selecting colors.

Make sure to charge these up in a sunny window prior to ritual.

A twist on the traditional candle crown.

Now it’s time to get creative and figure out how you want to integrate your scourge into your Imbolc observances.  Brigid is the goddess of inspiration, so listen for ideas while you drink some milk and eat whipped cream.  Your scourge can also be reused for Lupercalia on Feb. 15.

As with any sort of S&M and/or sex ritual, be responsible.  Use safe words and condoms and respect boundaries.  No under aged participants or spectators.  Outdoor sex should be on private property.  Bondage should allow for blood flow.  If you break skin, use first aid to treat it and clean your equipment properly.  And for heaven’s sake, avoid the spine and kidney area!

These folks like a snake in the pants:

Mystic Artisans: https://www.facebook.com/mysticartisans

Passion And Soul: http://passionandsoul.com/

Knotjokin Rope Floggers: http://www.knotjokin.etsy.com

Tonia Brown www.thebackseatwriter.com

Check this out!!! http://store.paganmusic.co.uk/track/Brighid

 

 

Blessed Be Thy Feet, Part 6: Martina’s Story


    “Some of the trails are rugged and rocky, and I am probably saddled with a backpack full of bottled water, lunch items, and maybe campfire wood.  I am usually tethered to one of the horses with a hemp rope around my waist, so it’s necessary to keep pace with the horses.”
      For Martina, this is just another adventure in the woods with her Mistress.  Martina is a Nature Pagan, submissive, and full time barefooter.  ”It can become quite an ordeal to endure for several hours on the trails.  But it’s another way we use and experience nature and natural things in our activities.”
      Martina goes barefoot full time, in all terrain and weather.  ”I go barefoot….about everywhere really.  It keeps me grounded and allows me to draw energy from the earth.  It also makes me feel more at one with nature.”
     ”I always watch out for snakes when hiking…, but not so much in Fall and Winter because they stay sheltered in cold weather.”  Despite snakes in the forest, walking barefoot is relatively safe.  ”It is more of a problem in poor or underdeveloped countries where sanitation is a problem and cities are dirty.  Like streets that have both people and livestock using them, along with garbage and trash.  They can be quite filthy.”
    Going barefoot full time is a relatively recent development in Martina’s life.  Like most children, she was barefoot a majority of the time, but she didn’t “shuck the shoes” completely until recently when she moved away from home.  She found herself wearing them less and less until she wasn’t wearing them at all.  As a final act of her commitment to being barefoot, she turned her shoes over to her Mistress, who is Wiccan.
    “It is something I want[ed] to do, and something that Mistress says is right for me.  That is why she asked for my shoes…as a way to encourage me to be true to my commitment.  And it is something that she finds erotic in a way that relates to how we first met and connected.”
      Martina and her Mistress like to incorporate nature into a lot of their activities.  This includes outdoor ritual glass dancing, which will be covered in “Blessed Be Thy Feet, Part 7″.